06 May Be thyroid aware this May
You might wonder why you should care about your thyroid?
Well, even though it’s only a small gland, your thyroid is essentially the engine that keeps your body running.
It produces the T3 and T4 hormones that regulate everything from your breathing and heart rate, to your muscle strength and body temperature.
It also plays a major role in your body’s metabolism, aka your ability to convert what you eat and drink into energy.
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder in Australia, affecting about 1 in 33 people.
I am one of those people.
After my youngest daughter was born I started to lose my hair. A lot.
I went to see my GP who ran some blood tests, and the results came back as Sub-clinical Hypothyroidism.
Which is a fancy way of saying one of my thyroid levels was out of normal range, while the other was still ok.
I was also told I had the antibodies for Hashimoto’s, and then I was sent on my way.
Thanks to Google I learnt that Hashimoto’s is the leading cause of Hypothyroidism.
It is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks your thyroid.
As a result it becomes damaged, and is unable to produce enough of the hormones your body needs to function properly.
There is no treatment for Hashimoto’s, and the treatment for Hypothyroidism is (typically) a synthetic version of the T4 hormone called thyroxine.
Basically I had to wait for my thyroid to stop working properly before I could do anything.
It was two years before I was put on thyroid medication.
By that time, my weight had gone up significantly, and I was tired, all the time.
I napped every day and struggled to do basic tasks like hanging the washing on the line.
When my doctor tested my TSH level (a marker for thyroid hormone production) it was 200 it’s supposed to be between 0.4 and 4 mU/L.
I have been on thyroxine for nearly three years now, and my journey from Hypothyroidism to good health is still on-going.
I have good days, and then I have days where I still struggle to get out of bed.
I haven’t found all the answers for me. Yet.
I want you to become aware of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism, especially if you are a young woman – because you’re more likely to develop it than your husband, brother or father.
Don’t just brush off that fatigue, or that depression or that weight gain.
Know your normal, and know when things aren’t normal.
See your GP if you need to.
A simple blood test can make all the difference.
For more information on thyroid health visit https://thyroidfoundation.org.au/
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
– Weight gain
– Hair loss
– Muscle weakness
– Impaired memory
– Pain/ stiffness/ swelling in your joints